Science and technology have shaped Singapore's development in the past and will continue to be the foundation of the country's future, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean yesterday.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the third Global Young Scientists Summit at Nanyang Technological University, Mr Teo said: "In recent years, the Singapore Government has placed even stronger emphasis on research and development (R&D), innovation and enterprise."
Mr Teo said that R&D efforts here were beginning to bear fruit. He cited as examples graphene research at the National University of Singapore, and the Singapore Spintronics Consortium, which explores electron spin-based technologies.
Science and engineering are key to Singapore overcoming its natural constraints and improving life for its citizens, whether by "finding new solutions such as underground space and alternative energy sources", or through developing a research programme to improve quality of life for an ageing population, he said.
"We are strengthening our collaborations with scientists around the world, and contributing to international efforts to address global problems," said Mr Teo.
At the annual international summit, 300 young scientists from 70 universities and research institutions worldwide will get to interact with eminent scientists.
Some of the speakers here include global names such as Professor Ada Yonath, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2009 for her work with ribosomes, and Fields Medal-winning mathematician Professor Ngo Bao Chau.
Prior to the ceremony, Mr Teo received a courtesy call from Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand. Among the first-time participants at the summit was Mr Henry Koh, 33, who researches advanced materials technology at DSO National Laboratories here.
Mr Koh said he was particularly looking forward to the panel discussions with researchers from other countries on how to balance creative risk-taking in research with potential economic value.
The summit will run till Friday.
This article was first published on Jan 19, 2015.
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